Yet another group- trying to do the same thing

Dayton should be the capital of redundancy. We’ve got more “regional cooperation” taskforces, working groups, coalitions etc. soadd another on the the list: Grassroots Greater Dayton. Founded by activist Jean Woodhull, they are looking for ways to achieve “balanced development” and fight sprawl. Simply put, we’re building new houses for no new people at a rate that isn’t sustainable. Quite frankly, these pop up communitites in former corn fields scare me, because one day- we may actually need to grow food again (imagine that).

They are having a meeting June 22nd, 2006 at Panera Bread on Brown street from 5:30 to 6:30. I’m going to try to attend- and suggest you do too.

Pontiac Apprentice promotion

It’s great to know- that while General Motors is closing down plants, laying people off and asking for concessions from employees- they can afford to give away half a million dollars and a bunch of cars- as well as pay 2-3 million dollars to tie into the Apprentice TV show on NBC.

Starting at noon on Tuesday, May 30, 2006, people can log into to help them decide where to spend their money- and a chance to win a G6 hardtop convertible.

Could one of the charities be a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit against GM for squandering millions while Americans, some of them in Dayton OH, are losing their jobs?

Also, it would be nice to halt all tax abatement packages nationwide to corporations- why should companies so willing to screw the American worker get the breaks so they can pay CEO’s millions to hand out chump change to charity in return.

Al Gore predicts great things for Dayton’s future

This morning I saw Katie Couric, on the Today show, interview Al Gore, the man who used to be “America’s next president.”
He is out promoting a film and a book about the dangers of global warming, and if he is right, real estate values in Dayton will sky rocket as soon as the polar ice caps melt and both San Francisco and Manhattan are under water- as well as Miami and most of the seaside high dollar resort places in the country.
Not only is Dayton far away from ocean, we have one of the largest aquifers in the world, filled with fresh, uncontaminated water. We have so much water, we can afford to shoot millions of gallons of it in the air every 15 minutes at Riverscape.
So, while you may think you’re living large in your million dollar 1200 square foot apartment in NYC or SF, you should be buying your 2,500 square foot “insurance policy” home in Dayton for less than $200,000.
Thanks Al, I knew I was on to something living here in the “flyover states.”

Dayton Daily News slams local business

As if trying to do business in a tough economy isn’t enough, now Dayton businesses have to worry about getting attacked in the Dayton Daily News.
On Friday, May 13 2006, I open my paper to the sports section and see a huge article, top of the page- “Are Bombers skating on thin ice”- never mind the team has never gotten front page coverage for an actual game, but they now have a “sports writer” dissecting their business, piece by piece.
The owners of the Dayton Bombers don’t deserve this. Costa Papista and Don MacAdam came in and rescued a franchise that has been mis-managed for quite some time- and kept professional hockey alive in Dayton. They may not have known what they were getting themselves into- but they certainly did nothing to deserve the “sinking ship” article in the DDN.
Unlike the Dayton Dragons, the Bombers didn’t have the tax payers build their facility and give them a sweetheart deal, and have every major business cajoled into buying season tickets by the Chamber of Commerce and the power brokers of downtown. They also inherited the lease in the Nutter Center- which isn’t the best place to play hockey- but no tax dollars were offered to upgrade Hara to keep it a viable hockey venue.
The ticket drop numbers (the actual head count vs. the sold ticket headcount) are no indication of financial success- the Dragon’s can announce sell-outs with half the seats empty- and no one bats an eye, yet, the Bombers information, because Nutter is a public building, the numbers can not be hidden from the public.
Compare the Nutter with UD arena- and you see instantly how one looks like a place to have a sporting event, and the other, well it looks like an institution, right down to the gray walls. Compare the parking situation and you have a whole other mess. But, fundamentally, the worst part about the Nutter is the “convertible” roof- that makes it impossible to get the place loud and proud with anything less than a full house- plus a PA system and a marching band. The cavernous ceiling sucks up the noise and makes the place seem dead no matter what’s going on, where at UD or Hara as few as 5000 can make the place rock.
The Dayton Daily News owes the Dayton Bombers an apology- or at least decent coverage to undo the hatchet job they just handed out.
If they want to be fair- maybe someone should point out that they will sell annual subscriptions at half-price just to keep their readership numbers, and that their circulation has been in a tailspin much worse than the Bombers win loss stats.
Do your part to say stick to the news- call the Dayton Bombers (937-775-4747) and buy tickets to a game for next year- even if you think you hate hockey- you might be surprised, but it’s still got a lot more action than baseball- and moves a lot faster than basketball- and is still a good place to take the kids in the middle of winter.
What do you think?

When Greater means lesser

I’m in advertising- and one of our specialties is branding. One of the recurring themes in this blog is the Dayton community’s low self-esteem. For some odd reason Daytonians can’t live with the name “Dayton” by itself- we say “Dayton Ohio” as if everyone is going to confuse it with “Dayton Kentucky.” Then, we also have to pay homage to our far-flung suburban neighbors- always with this idea of calling things the “Miami Valley” – like the regional co-ordination think tank- The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.
Like it or not- we live in Dayton- from Tipp City to Springboro- and it’s time to stop discounting Dayton as the regional name. So- imagine when a group of marketing geniuses decide to rename their club- The Dayton Ad Club, the second oldest ad club in the country, to become the “Greater Dayton Advertising Association” for a whole bunch of stupid reasons (see below).
Using the name “Greater” means there is also a “Lesser Dayton”- the city proper. It’s this kind of thinking that continues this self-deprecation. At some point we need people to stop making excuses for where we live- and have some pride. Never mind that the URL “DaytonAdClub” sure beats typing “GreaterDaytonAdvertisingAssociation.”
When you read the ad clubs reasoning- you have to wonder why an outside consultant was called in- once again fueling the perception that we can’t have great ideas in Dayton anymore- only greater ones from some outsider.
It’s time to take some local pride- behind the simple name “DAYTON”

The Dayton Advertising Club has recently undertaken a thorough review of the organization. With the assistance of an outside Ad Club consultant and our national affiliation, the American Advertising Federation, a leadership team assessed past and current conditions.  Various analysis’s were conducted to formulate plans for a successful future.  Recommendations included a name change and strategic plan.
Ad Club to Change Name
The leadership team reviewed definitions and connotations of “club”, “association”, “federation”, and “organization”, and feedback received from members and prospects who indicated the difficulty of getting their supervisor to approve them joining a “club” until they explained what it was.
The exercise showed “association” had a better fit for what we do.  The next step was deciding how to better brand us geographically, with a name that would still identify us with Dayton yet not limit us to the metropolitan area in people’s minds.  The team looked at the population of Dayton and surrounding areas, including the number of companies, and that 25% of current Ad Club members are from either outside of Dayton or identify themselves as outside of Dayton (Centerville, Kettering, etc.).
A number of names were discussed before coming up with a recommendation.
That name was presented to the Board of Directors, who voted by majority to refer it to the membership for vote.  Members who voted approved the name change by majority.
The new name will be the Greater Dayton Advertising Association, effective with the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2006. Information will  be going out to the membership asking for assistance in developing a new logo and branding.

Note- it’s also interesting that the Dayton Ad Club doesn’t report the actual vote- making it hard to judge if the vote was 3-2 or 100 to 15.

What do you think?

Local Superstar Jayne Sachs Wins Big

John Lennon Songwriting Contest

Another reason to recognize that Dayton produces some amazing musicans- not just in the past- like the Ohio Players and Zapp, but today. I’m lucky enough to count David Ponitz- aka David Poe as a good friend, and friend once removed from Jayne Sachs– who just won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

We just had Hawthorne Heights score big on the Billboard chart- fellow blogosopher David Cousino has a new CD-

There is so much musical talent in this town- maybe we should be looking at music as a tool for economic development? Look what Austin has done with SXSW, Nashville, and even Seattle with the EMP. We may be the Winter Guard capital of the world already- without really trying.
I live right around the corner from a real live Rock Superstar- Kelley Deal from the Breeders and see her and twin Kim Deal walking Jackson (Kelley’s Mondo Dog) past my office all the time.

Is the Gem City a Rock just waiting for a PR polish?

What do you think?

Please add your list of music stars from Dayton in the comments- lets see how big we are in the music world?

On anonymous blogs-

Dayton Politics is a local blog that is worth reading, if for no other reason than it seems to have the attention of a lot of local politico types.
While it seems to have some insider connections and insight, typical of a tattler style publication, it lacks real credibility since almost all posts and comments are from anonymous posters.
Why are people in Dayton so afraid of taking a solo position without a crowd of supporters? Why do we always have to have consensus and coalitions to bring any kind of alternative views to the forefront- or hide behind a veil of anonymity?
When I comment on Dayton Politics, I’m one of a very few that actually sign my name and link back to my blog. I do this because I’m not afraid of venturing an opinion and I’m also willing to later eat my words if I happen to be wrong. I’m not worried about stepping on toes, rankling the “wrong” people, or walking to the beat of a different drummer- because what good is a democracy if there is only one choice in every matter? It also helps build trackbacks – which are an essential part of blogging (if you want to learn more about this- come to the blogosopher seminar).
It’s this kind of groupthink that limits public debate by our elected officials- for an example: look at how many unanimous decisions the Dayton City Commission makes. This is not healthy behavior in a democracy- at least not one that was built on the premise of “free speech”
While there are people in Dayton who believe that showing a united front is always good- and that we always have to make room for everyone at the table- look at where it has gotten us- we’re divided up into 68+ little fiefdoms- all heading in our own little directions. We have namby-pamby leaders who refuse to say in public what they will share in private- and all it does is reinforce the perception that we are on a ship without a captain.
So- if you have something to say- sign your name. What’s the worst thing that can happen- being wrong? The greatest people throughout history were the one’s that were willing to be wrong, to take chances, who ventured out against the masses. If you need proof that this works- the world turned out not to be flat, how about that.
What do you think?
Try signing your name- it won’t kill you.

Read the DDN and be the last to know.

Two major real estate deals were reported a week earlier by the Dayton Business Journal than in the Dayton Daily News.

The CareSource plans for Downtown, while missing details in the DBJ, ran a full week earlier- and the SugarCamp deal in Oakwood ran 5 days earlier. Makes you wonder if the new DDN “integrated” business pages now has less staff on board than the old “Stand-alone” business section.

One of the keys to good journalism (my father was a journalist- and drilled this into me) is “institutional knowledge”- or knowing the lay of the land. A good journalist knows about the deals before they happen- because they have their ear to the ground and connections in the area- it would seem that the DDN has more ad sales people than it has reporters these days- maybe they need to enlist their sales force to collect business news leads for them- ’cause they don’t seem to be getting the scoop lately.